Last updated 14/4/2014
We often hear customers asking for the ‘best mobile phone for the hard of hearing’. With manufacturers bringing out new models every couple of months (even weeks sometimes) what is best today, is not necessarily “best” tomorrow. Instead we propose to explain what an amplified hard of hearing mobile phone should offer and let you choose the device that best meets your individual needs and requirements.
What Are Amplified Mobile Phones?
These may seem like many other mobile phones, but on further investigation you will find three key differences. The most apparent are increased voice volume level of the person on the other end of the line, increased ringer volume and finally better integration with digital hearing aids through the Telecoil compatibility settings.
Which Mobile Phone Is The Best For Me?
The answer will depend on your level of hearing loss and on your requirements from the device.
- If your hearing loss is diagnosed as mild or even moderate, you might require less than 45dB of extra amplification, in such cases ‘best’ for you might mean choosing one of the less amplified mobile phones available
- If you are less at ease with the latest modern technological gadgets and require a mobile phone that can simply receive and make calls, again what is best for you is not necessarily ‘best’ for someone else. We have a range of simple and easy to use mobile phones to choose from.
- If you are sight impaired, a suitable mobile phone may need to include large buttons and a large screen
- If using the device on the go and in the car, Bluetooth connectivity can be useful for hands free use
- If you wish to keep your current contract with the mobile provider, an unlocked device that can fit most SIM cards provides this option and also allows you to keep your number and any credit retained
- If you plan to use the device as an additional alternative to your current mobile, perhaps to be used in a noisy environment, a more basic (and therefore significantly cheaper) device may suffice
- If surfing the internet on the phone is important to you, you will be happy to hear that some of the latest hard of hearing mobile phones offer this feature
Whichever mobile phone you consider and if you are hard of hearing, take the time to evaluate the points above so that ‘best’ is the device that ticks all the right boxes for you. Another great option is to use Hearing Direct’s online feature comparison tool, which will quickly advise you on the most suitable options, available on our website, with just a few clicks.You are able to browse the devices according to your preferred price range, incoming voice volume and a list of most popular features.
It might also be tempting and useful to have a look at the devices offered by some of the leading manufacturers, which have won reputable awards and prizes.
Doro, for example, is a company that has attracted many customers since its establishment in 2007 and just recently, in June 2013, reached a very impressive milestone of4 million mobile phones sold. At HearingDirect you can find their award winning Doro PhoneEasy® 740, which thwarted many quality competitors to secure the iF Product Design Award for innovative product design in 2013. This is the first smartphone manufactured by Doro and it is specifically designed to meet the needs of senior users. The device has also received the Universal design consumer favourite 2013 award. The mobile phone’s main characteristic is the excellent usability, as well as essential features such as:
- Up to 35dB amplification of the receiving volume
- Up to 83dB amplification of the ringing volume
- A visual ring indicator and vibration
- Backlit keypad
- 5 Megapixel camera with flash
- A speakerphone
- Web browsing
Another leading manufacturer of phones for the hard of hearing that has been providing amplified telephony since 1974 is Geemarc. One of their mobile phones is currently on offer at Hearing Direct, the Clearsound CL8350 Extra Loud Mobile Phone. It is very intuitive to use due to the easy to navigate menu and a backlit keypad with large buttons. The receiving volume can be increased to up to 40dB and the ringing volume to up to the impressive 90dB. The phone also includes:
- Voice activated dialling
- Bluetooth Connectivity
- A hands free speakerphone with 7 volume levels
- Caller ID and call duration display
- Emergency calls/text to up to 5 numbers
- 3 speed dial memory buttons
Another of our most popular mobile phones is the Amplicom PowerTel M6000 Big Button Mobile Phone.Which has received a lot of positive feedback. It will appeal to all looking for an excessively loud ringer volume (up to 100dB) and the maximum amplification of the receiving volume is 30dB. The device’s design makes the user experience very easy (big buttons and large display) and has several other important characteristics:
- Triband GSM function (900/1800/1900MHz)
- Handsfree function and Bluetooth®
- 8 speed dial keys
- Vibration and fall sensor
- Emergency call button
- Text messaging
In 2012, Amplicomms launched an even louder device – the PowerTel M7000 Clam Shell Loud Mobile Phone, which offers up to 40dB amplification of receiving volume with less than 5% distortion.
Original article date 16/11/2011, last updated 14/4/2014